The Nubian Word for Flowers
First Take Workshop Excerpt
Concept, Story, and Texts by Ione
Music and Sound by Pauline Oliveros
The LA Times, June 3, 2013
Oliveros, a pioneer in electronic music and a practitioner in what she has termed "deep listening," goes deep in "The Nubian Word." The concept, story and texts are by Ione, who examines the colonial mind through a mystical vision of British Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, who mapped the Middle East at the end of the 19th century. We encounter him on a Nubian island.
Oliveros begins with an extraordinary cosmic electronic soundscape, traveling aurally from outer space to desert, ocean and meadow, where each flower finds its own electromagnetic field. An instrumental ensemble improvises subtly around and inside the electronics, while four singers provide the surface drama.
"Remember," one says, "Heaven in your language is not the same as in mine."
Oliveros' musical language, formed over a long lifetime of deep listening, is not the same as anyone else's. Here it is distilled in the vastness and fearless intensity of tone.
Marc Swed Review LA Times, June 3, 2013 :
Ione is a noted author, playwright/director and poet whose works include the critically acclaimed memoir, Pride of Family Four Generations of American Women of Color, Listening in Dreams and This is a Dream! Other works include; The Night Train to Aswan and Nile Night: Remembered Texts from the Deep and Spell Breaking; Remembered Ways of Being, and Anthology of Women’s Mysteries.
She is the playwright and director of Njinga the Queen King (BAM’s Next Wave Festival )and the dance Opera Io and Her and the Trouble with Him ( Union Theatre, Madison,WI) The Lunar Opera; Deep Listening For_Tunes. (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), She has created two experimental films, Venezia e L’egitto and Dreams of the Jungfrau. Ione and Pauline Oliveros are currently collaborating on The Nubian Word for Flowers, A Phantom Opera. Encompassing the Nubian Diaspora and the life of Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener of Khartoum, the opera is "a deep dream exploration of Nubian soul and the Colonial Mind". Ione is also an improvising sound/text artist who performs in the United States and Internationally.
Ione is the Founding Director of the Ministry of Maåt, Inc ( MoM, Inc) and Artistic Director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. Both organizations seek to foster a harmonious world community.